Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that can lead to complications over time. These complications can include:
- Coronary heart diseases or Cardiovascular disease which can lead to a heart attack
- Cerebrovascular diseases which can lead to a stroke
- Retinoplasty (disease of the eye) which can lead to blindness
- Nephropathy (disease of the kidney) which can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis
- Neuropathy (disease of the nerves) which can lead to, among other things, ulceration of the foot requiring amputation.
Many of these complications produce no symptoms in the early stages, and most can be prevented or minimized with a combination of regular medical care and blood sugar monitoring.
Heart diseases, particularly coronary heart diseases (CHD) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes mellitus. At least 68% of people aged 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease and 16% of people die of stroke. Compared to individuals without diabetes, those with diabetes have a higher prevalence of coronary heart disease (CHD), a greater extent of coronary ischemia, and are more likely to have a Heart Attack (MI) and silent heart attack.